90 Years of History in the Making

Excerpts of Presentation by Kathy Silks – National Civil War Museum, 09/24/2011
It’s been said that the good we do lives after us.   That can be true of organizations as well as individuals, and I believe it’s true of us collectively as the Harrisburg Branch of AAUW.  It is a history filled with community enrichment, spotlighting issues affecting women and girls, establishing meaningful partnerships with key local organizations, giving branch members and area citizens’ opportunities to engage in lifelong learning


    • 1921 – Branch founded
    • Co-founded Harrisburg Community Theatre
    • Established student college loan fund


    • Issued report:  Economic and Legal Status of Women
    • Study groups included child psychology, social problems, drama, music, and international relations
    • Formed our own choral group – University Singers


    • Board members sewed layettes for the Red Cross and branch raised more than $3,000 toward the University Women’s War Relief Fund to aid university women who were war victims and refugees
    • Feeling the economic pinch, the branch raised dues to $7.00
    • Authors Janet Flanner and Frances Parkinson Keyes presented at branch meetings
    • For our 25th anniversary – co-sponsored College Night at local high schools
    • Conducted a Career Night with representatives from more than 75 colleges, universities, and business schools
    • Branch members were active in developing a zoning program for Harrisburg


    • Launched a fundraising event – used book sale
    • Established poetry recognition contest for young people
    • Co-sponsored “Let’s Read” program for elementary students with Harrisburg Public Library – included six weekly radio broadcasts
    • Sponsored the first of three Allied Arts Festivals at The Forum, the precursors of the Greater Harrisburg Arts Council and the annual Arts Festivals at the State Museum
    • Collaborated with several other branches on a series of neighborhood conferences on such topics as mental health, investments and securities, and facing community problems
    • Branch’s Mental Health Research Committee conducted a survey for the PA Dept. of Public Welfare on the effective utilization of mental health educational materials
    • Co-sponsored (with Tri-County Mental Health Association) monthly lectures by psychologists and psychiatrists
    • Established a speakers bureau featuring forty branch members and covering twenty topical areas
    • Branch membership totaled 455, representing 107 colleges and universities
    • Branch named one of 250 Honor Clubs of America by the Woman’s Home Companion

Click here for the rest of the History Timeline